Random Japan



Apparently, a South Korean magazine, Weekly Chosun, claims to have tracked down Japanese abductee Megumi Yokota, alive and well and living in Pyongyang. North Korea admitted snatching a 13-year-old Yokota in 1977, but they claim she killed herself in 1994.

The captain of a Chinese fishing boat was arrested in Japanese waters off Nagasaki after leading the Coast Guard on a chase. Sound familiar?

The body of a 35-year-old Iwate man missing since the March 11 tsunami was discovered by his wife in a crushed car being kept at a temporary junkyard.

A powered exoskeleton robot-like suit made by Tsukuba-based Cyberdyne, which would come in handy during nuclear accidents, “features computer-controlled, motorized limbs, which respond to a user’s movements.”

The Daidogei World Cup of street performers featured 87 acts from 21 countries doing their thing at a Shizuoka park.

In an event organized by Panasonic to promote its Lamdash shaver, a world record was set for the largest number of men using the same model of electric razor at the same time in Japan and abroad. According to Guinness World Records, 1,981 men participated at 18 locations.


¥428.3 billion

Amount uncovered by the Board of Audit in “wasteful or misused government spending in 2010, including grants to local governments that agree to host construction of nuclear power plants”

¥1.79 trillion

The record “wasteful or misused” high, set in 2009


People on welfare here in July, an all-time record for a month in Japan, according to a Health, Labor and Welfare Ministry report


The previous monthly high, set back in 1951 in the aftermath of World War II, when Japan started recording such data

¥576 billion

Annual loss the Tokyo Electric Power Company, operator of the crippled Fukushima nuclear power plant, expects for the year ending in March

¥1.8 trillion

TEPCO’s total deficit from the nuclear disaster, with Y1.02 trillion to be paid out in compensation

86 percent

Drop in TEPCO shares since March 11


The Tokyo Metropolitan Government put out an alert that a fish distributor had “sold up to 14 puffer fish without removing their poisonous organs.” Oops!

The Takashimaya department store is selling “award-winning rice from Fukushima Prefecture, grown with organic fertilizers containing Chinese herbal medicine, and tested for radiation.” Yummy!

A Fukushima company has come up with a new low-cost (¥18,800) battery-operated Geiger counter for locals worried about radiation leaks.

A Tokyo man saddled in debt lost it and took a pickax to his family, killing his wife and son and injuring his daughter.

A 28-year-old Japanese woman on an international wanted list since a 2003 murder and dismemberment in Yamanashi was arrested after returning to Japan from South Africa.

The landing gear on a new ANA Boeing 787 Dreamliner with nearly 250 people aboard got jammed as the plane prepared to land at Okayama airport, forcing the pilots to make a second approach before manually lowering the wheels.

The dead dad and an uncle of Osaka mayoral candidate Toru Hashimoto were yakuza members, according to reports, and a cousin is apparently in jail for manslaughter. Now there’s your smoking gun.

Headline of the Week: “Soapland brothel ban in Ishikawa onsen resort town steams residents” (courtesy of The Tokyo Reporter)

He May Be A Dog  

But, He’s A Hero

Who Needs Date

When You Can Be By Yourself  

Two  Teenagers

Riding The Wrong Path

Tokyo’s really, really real ninja hideouts

By Matt Alt    LIFESTYLE NOV. 26, 2011

Fact or fiction? Tokyo wouldn’t exist without the efforts of real-life ninja.

Fact-100% fact. And they’re still here today, in a manner of speaking.

Don’t get us wrong. There aren’t any secret training grounds or black-clad assassins leaping from rooftop to rooftop (if only). The signs are subtler than that, but they’re definitely there, hiding in plain sight.

So forget the silly Ninja Akasaka restaurant, the sillier Nikko Edo-Mura ninja shows, the foam-rubber shuriken throwing stars on sale in Asakusa’s Nakamise souvenir stands. This is your chance to tread in the two-toed footprints of Japan’s masters of darkness, right through the heart of the city.